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Underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai has erupted again, sending ash, steam and gas 20km into the air.
There is a tsunami warning in place for all the islands of the Kingdom of Tonga as the volcanic activity affects coastal water levels. People are advised to stay out of the water and away from the coast.
The volcano is located about 30km south-east of Fonuafo'ou island in Tonga.
Tonga Geological Services head Taaniela Kula said the eruption had a radius of 260km.
It was about seven times more powerful than the last eruption on December 20 last year and continuing to grow, Kula said.
WAVE ALERT Urgent tsunami warning issued for Washington, Oregon and Alaska coasts
AN urgent tsunami warning covering Washington, Oregon and Alaska has been issued after an underwater volcano erupted near Tonga. Warnings have also been issued for the island nation, New Zealand’s North island and Canada’s British Columbia.
According to New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency, "strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore" are expected. It said its weather stations had observed “a pressure surge” Saturday evening, following the eruption.
The Matangi Tonga news site said scientists had seen massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after it started erupting early on Friday. The site said satellite images showed a three-mile wide plume of ash, steam and gas rising up 12 miles into the air.